I have to share this (funny?) story.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but I have some lovely friends. I have very old friends who helped me to survive in the very early days, bringing food, entertaining Isla and one amazing friend who went away for a few days holiday with us and helped us through many “firsts” without Jude.
I also have friends who live locally and have kids the same age as Isla. I’m so glad that they’re not mums of Jude sized kids, I can’t even really speak to them in she playground yet. We are a group of about 10 ladies and we try to get out once every few weeks for a meal or to one another’s houses. Since Jude died I’ve only missed one night out with them. It’s not always easy to get motivated for a night out but I always feel better once I’m there. It’s one of the places where I can talk about Jude without worrying about anyone feeling awkward.
Last night was a manicure night at one of these friends houses. There was a beautician and I was the second person to have my nails done. It was only a quick 10 minute appointment but we got around to the subject of it being a small world. In no time at all she was telling me how she had been recommended to the host by one of the other mums at the party who she’d given a massage to when she was really upset. The reason she was so upset was that she’d just come back from the funeral of a wee boy “from around here I think” who had died at only five. Her point was that her own sister-in-law had also been to the same funeral that day, thus proving our original theorum that it’s a small world. At one point she stopped what she was doing, looked me in the eye and said, “you probably remember it, his parents were teachers.”
Now I could’ve done a few things at this point. I might’ve alerted her to the fact that, yes I had heard about that sad tale, first fucking hand! Or I might’ve surrendered to my first reaction and run from the room and home with only one hand painted sterling silver. Instead I cleared my throat and guided her onto the subject of holidays, where I learned that she was heading off to my childhood holiday destination of Nerja in Spain (small world). We carried on with his innocuous chat as I regained my composure and settled my heart rate back to something that is survivable. As I left she delivered her punchline: “in my line of work, you meet so many people who know one another and I’ve learned that discretion is the key.”
Rather worryingly, as she was leaving she said she was going to do the nails of a teacher that I work with occasionally and she would let her know that she’d met me. I think that might be one of the biggest “penny dropping” occasions ever. Poor lady, at least I won’t be there to see it.